At long last, the wrap-up to our circumnavacation! I am finally getting down to the business of transcribing the record of our last day in London. Steve and I were feeling overwhelmed by all the traveling we had to do, but we had it in us to do one last day of sprint-sightseeing! We caught another quick breakfast with our Airbnb host, and took a combination of bus and Tube into town.
First on our list was Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column. It was certainly a grand and impressive plaza, but very little to actually do. We noticed some cleaning personnel pushing long-handled brooms around the bottoms of the large fountains in Trafalgar Square, clearing it of green mold, which certainly brings these historical monuments back to mundane reality. Our next two stops were Horse Guards’ Parade (where, predictably enough, there are guards on horseback standing at attention) and further down the same street, 10 Downing Street, where the British Prime Minister (currently David Cameron) typically lives. Eventually, we made it to Big Ben just as it struck noon, and Steve and I hung about Big Ben (which is attached to the Houses of Parliament) for a while, taking in the sights. Just across the street from that is Westminster Abbey, looking very grey, august, and full of gorgeous stained-glass windows. We ended up having lunch in the grass outside, enjoying the scenery, and after a lengthy debate, decided to pay the ridiculous fee of eighteen pounds per person (about $70 USD altogether!). Then we got up and started walking down the line outside Westminster Abbey, and my heart just slowly sank as we figured out the line was well over an hour long. After looking at each other, we nearly wordlessly agreed that while it was definitely worth seeing, it wasn’t worth sacrificing half of what we had planned for the rest of the day. We thus walked a little bit more around the Houses of Parliament, then moved on. Continue reading London, Part II: Tea, corgis, and art.